Visit Tampa! Gluten-free style (Living Without’s Gluten Free & More)

By Jill and Jason Shelton original article here.

Photo by Shuterstock/ Jon bilous

Photo by Shuterstock/ Jon bilous

Tampa is more than just a city. It’s a region. Located on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Mexico, the Tampa Bay area is a collection of diverse cities, towns and neighborhoods that span Florida’s beautiful Tampa Bay. Each place has characteristics that make it unique and attractive. In addition to having some of the world’s best beaches, the area contains interesting historic spots (like “Cigar City”) and is known as the Strawberry Capital of the World.

Tampa is a sports-lover’s dream, home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Many teams hold spring training in and around the Tampa Bay area, attracting baseball enthusiasts from around the country.

A town of notable events and wacky celebrations, Tampa draws huge crowds to its annual Gasparilla, a pirate invasion held in January where citizens of all ages fill the streets to collect beaded necklaces and golden doubloons from “krewes” of pirates who take over the city.

The diversity of the region allows gluten-free and food-allergic diners to enjoy a range of eateries. From fine-dining establishments to local neighborhood hideaways, friendly and accommodating restaurants ensure that visitors won’t go hungry while enjoying all that Tampa Bay has to offer.

Downtown Tampa

Along with the many corporations located there, Tampa is home to great museums, fine art and other cultural attractions. The Glazer Children’s Museum is a favorite place for kids of all ages. Completely hands-on, this museum gives children opportunities to learn, explore and burn off energy. Right next door is the Tampa Museum of Art. Along with the notable works of art displayed inside, the building’s façade showcases an entertaining light show every evening.

History buffs won’t want to miss the Tampa Bay History Center. Showing the region’s history from its earliest days to present times, this is the perfect place to learn all about Tampa Bay and its surrounding region.

Another favorite spot is the Florida Aquarium, home to over 20,000 aquatic animals and plants. Guests at the aquarium can take part in daily stingray feedings and get up close to the penguins as part of the Penguins: Backstage Pass tour.

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts is a state-of-the-art venue that hosts touring Broadway plays and other world-class concerts and shows.

While downtown, be sure to check out the Tampa Riverwalk, a series of linked pedestrian paths and parks that connect some of Tampa’s premier tourist destinations.

Good Eats

Downtown Tampa hosts a number of gluten-free and allergy-friendly establishments. Open daily, First Watch ( serves fresh breakfast, brunch and lunch. Staff is helpful and well-trained in customizing your order to be gluten-free or allergy-friendly. In addition to its downtown restaurant, First Watch has other locations across the bay area.

Taco Bus ( has quickly become one of Tampa’s favorite evening stops. Taco Bus has five locations across the bay area and, as its name suggests, the first location was literally a bus. The bus was so popular and the food so delicious, that Taco Bus opened four other eateries to serve patrons across each of Tampa Bay’s regions. Locally owned, Taco Bus accommodates gluten-free diners. Its butternut squash tostada, which is topped with fresh pico de gallo, is an absolute must for gluten-free vegetarians and meat lovers alike.

Tampa Pizza Co., formerly Pizza Fusion, is a gourmet pizza chain that was founded in Florida. Focusing on great-tasting pizza with organic ingredients, this restaurant offers an amazing gluten-free crust with an endless variety of gluten-free toppings. Try its pear and gorgonzola gluten-free pizza, a family favorite, with Boylan Natural Soda or a gluten-free beer. You can order a gluten-free brownie to top off your meal.

Bamboozle Café ( has a gluten-free menu full of Vietnamese crepes, wraps, curries and salads. Delicious! It’s always a hard choice between the pho short ribs and banh xeo crispy crepes.

Ybor City

Founded in the late 1800s, Ybor City was once known as the Cigar Capital of the World. Remnants of old cigar factories and other historic buildings are strewn across the neighborhood, a short streetcar ride from downtown. You may never find a better cup of Cuban coffee outside of Cuba. Ybor City is home to a number of great shops and restaurants. Tampa’s Ikea superstore is located just outside town.

Good Eats

A well-known institution in Tampa, The Columbia Restaurant ( sits in the heart of Ybor City. It was founded by Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., in 1905 and is now owned and operated by the Gonzmart family, his descendants. The Columbia is famous for menu items like the 1905 Salad, a nod to the year the restaurant opened. Recognized by Florida’s legislature as the state’s oldest restaurant, it was the first air-conditioned dining room in Tampa. Its Spanish-style menu is available gluten-free, offering delicious choices, such as chicken with yellow rice and palomilla steak. If dairy and eggs are tolerated, the homemade flan will not disappoint. Staff is eager to accommodate. Due to its success, the Columbia has expanded to five other locations across Florida but its Ybor City restaurant offers the best atmosphere, as well as historic significance.

South Tampa & Hyde Park

Just west of downtown are South Tampa and Hyde Park. South Tampa is an affluent residential area of stately homes with unique architectural styles on quiet, tree-lined city streets. The region’s southern border is Bayshore Boulevard, a waterfront roadway that’s reportedly the longest continuous sidewalk in the world (about 4½ miles). It’s the ideal place for strolling, people watching and catching stunning views of downtown Tampa. It’s also home to Tampa’s annual Gasparilla Parade, the city’s popular pirate invasion, an all-around great time. Hyde Park offers unique boutiques and great dining options.

Good Eats

Bern’s Steak House ( is Tampa’s most popular steakhouse. The steaks are aged between five and eight weeks and are cooked to perfection. Much of Bern’s amazing food can be customized for gluten-free and food-allergic customers, as the chefs and staff are very knowledgeable and creative. This restaurant features one of the largest wine cellars in the world—over half a million bottles! An added bonus: Wine cellar and kitchen tours are available to all restaurant guests. These tours are not to be missed; inquire in advance about availability. Don’t forget to save room for dessert. Visit the dessert room to cap off your dining experience.

Not in the mood for a formal meal? Try the Gourmet Pizza Company (, which offers gluten-free pizza crust and a range of delicious toppings. Another South Tampa favorite is Datz (, a very popular deli connected to a bakery that’s connected to a gelato shop. This unique combo makes Datz the place to be. Although there’s no gluten-free menu, the staff is well versed in food safety and can accommodate many different dietary requests. Green Lemon ( is a Mexican restaurant that serves brunch, lunch and dinner. The staff is accommodating and the menu denotes gluten-free options. Its Cerdo Perfecto Street Tacos can’t be beat. Daily Eats ( features burgers, bowls, sandwiches and salads, along with breakfast foods that are available all day. The friendly staff is accommodating and menu items are marked gluten-free.

Photo by Jenn Sharkey

Photo by Jenn Sharkey – Daily Eats’ New Mexican Shredder Bowl is gluten-free.

Photo courtesy of Bamboozle Cafe

Photo courtesy of Bamboozle Cafe – The Fresh Rolls and the Grilled Pork Noodle Salad (below) at Bamboozle Café are gluten-free favorites.

Photo courtesy of Bamboozle Cafe

Photo courtesy of Bamboozle Cafe














The Westshore area may be one of Tampa’s busiest neighborhoods. Adjacent to Tampa International Airport, this is likely the first part of town you’ll see if you’re flying into Tampa.

By day, the Westshore Business District is the robust home to diverse companies. In the evenings and on weekends, the neighborhood transforms into Tampa’s premier shopping destination. The cornerstones of this area are two shopping malls—the upscale International Plaza to the north and the more traditional WestShore Plaza to the south.

Westshore is also a notable dining destination. Restaurants of all cuisines can be found there.

Good Eats

Many popular gluten-free and allergy-friendly chain restaurants are located in the malls. WestShore Plaza is home to Maggiano’s Little Italy (, Mitchell’s Fish Market (, PF Chang’s ( and Seasons 52 ( International Plaza features California Pizza Kitchen (, The Capital Grille (, The Cheesecake Factory (, Ocean Prime ( and TooJay’s Gourmet Deli ( Each of these restaurants either has a dedicated gluten-free menu or they will work with you to provide a safe dining experience.

Outside the mall area is Lee Roy Selmon’s (, a sports-themed restaurant founded by Selmon, a Buccaneer great and NFL Hall of Famer. You can take in some football history while enjoying your meal.

The Beaches

Located on the Gulf of Mexico, the Tampa Bay region is blessed with some of the world’s finest beaches. The cities of Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach aren’t far from downtown Tampa, with beach towns dotting the coastline in between. Relaxing on the sand and splashing in the warm gulf water is a huge allure for visitors. Along with miles of gorgeous coastline, Clearwater Beach offers Pier 60 Park (a 1,080-foot fishing pier, an enormous playground and the perfect spot to catch a sunset), daily dolphin tours and dinner sightseeing cruises ( You can see a local movie star, Winter the Dolphin, at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium ( Fort De Soto Park is a favorite stop for families, offering camping, hiking, boating and, of course, a gorgeous beach.

Good Eats

A favorite spot for gluten-free diners on Clearwater Beach is Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill ( Frenchy’s offers open-air beachfront dining like few others, including a dedicated gluten-free menu and a knowledgeable staff. Island Way Grill ( in Clearwater Beach specializes in fresh seafood paired with fantastic wines. Another Clearwater Beach favorite is Crabby Bill’s (, which serves fresh, local seafood in a fun atmosphere. In St. Pete Beach, Café Luna Bistro ( has a gluten-free and vegetarian menu. At Indian Rocks Beach, Guppy’s On The Beach ( offers gluten-free lunch and dinner menus.

Unlike more populated coastal towns, there are many locally owned, small dining spots along the Tampa Bay coast. This makes finding reliable gluten-free, allergy-friendly restaurants less than a sure bet. Call ahead to check for gluten-free menu items and ask about accommodation. More dining places than ever are aware of special dietary needs and will make an effort to serve you safely—but always verify that you can dine safely before you settle on a place.

Jill and Jason Shelton maintain Gluten Free Tampa Bay (, one of the region’s top gluten-free dedicated blogs.





Wolferman’s now carried gluten-free gift basket goodies

Way to go Wolferman’s! You may be the first to start carrying gluten-free gift basket goodies. I have been sending these baskets to my family for years for Christmas and whenever I show up, they express the guilt they feel for such a nice present they can’t share with me. Now, things have changed.

Included in their selections are gluten-free English muffins, gluten free muffins, and cookies. The reviews state that these are actually Glutino GF English muffins although I cannot confirm this. The muffins and cookies are getting 5 stars across the board. I have yet to try any of their products and I would appreciate any of my readers feedback if they have. I am excited for Christmas gift baskets again, finally after over 10 years.


cookies muffins muffins2

Types of Casein (Living Without)

By Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND link

Can you tolerate dairy overseas but not at home?

Nick was a successful businessman in his mid-30s with a persistent case of eczema. Over the years, he had applied various ointments and prescription creams recommended by a string of dermatologists, allergists and well-meaning friends, all to no avail. When someone suggested a nutritionist might help, he figured it would be another waste of time but he was desperate.

“My skin drives me crazy,” Nick told me. “The irritation is relentless.”

I asked him the usual background questions. When had the condition started? Were there any other diagnoses? Did the symptoms come and go? Had any treatment helped, even a little? And, of course, what was he eating?

His responses didn’t obviously point to a nutritional cause. The condition had existed since college. He’d been tested extensively for allergies, which his specialists assured him were not the culprit. He was fit and ate a variety of healthy foods. He enjoyed wine but didn’t eat many sweets. While cortisone cream relieved the itching temporarily, too much of his skin was affected to use it long term. He applied the prescription cream only when he couldn’t bear the discomfort.

“I’m in perfect health, other than itching all the time and looking like a lizard,” he quipped.

“Has your skin cleared even for a short time at any point?” I persisted.

It turns out it had. Twice when Nick had gone to France, his skin cleared. His doctors had long ago attributed the remissions to vacation stress reduction, so he thought the information was insignificant. I wasn’t so sure.

Casein sensitivity is easier to spot when people have symptoms immediately after ingestion, such as stuffiness or stomach distress, rather than a delayed reaction like eczema.

More About Milk

Over the years, different people have reported to me that they could drink milk or eat dairy products in France, India or Australia but developed symptoms when drinking it in the United States. One woman who worked at an international bank sported a swollen, beet-red face only when she was stationed here, not when she was home in India. We discovered the problem was American dairy products. She could eat all the dairy foods she wanted in India but reacted fiercely when she drank milk produced in the States. At first, I theorized the culprit was something in the cow’s feed. Now I believe the irritant is the different milk proteins produced by different breeds of cows.

All mammal milks contain casein in different concentrations. Eighty percent of the protein in cow’s milk is casein. Human milk is less concentrated, with only 20 to 45 percent casein. Not only does the concentration of casein in milk differ among species and breeds, the type of casein varies, as well.

There are two main types of casein: A1 and A2. Almost all American, Australian and European (except French) cows produce milk with mostly A1 casein. Cows in Asia, Africa and France produce milk with mostly A2 casein. Goats produce milk with A2 casein in concentrations closer to human milk levels. Because the casein is A2 and there is less of it, some people can tolerate goat’s milk products but can’t tolerate cow’s milk.

Caseins A1 and A2 are exactly the same protein but have one difference in their amino acid sequence. ( In amino acid position number 67, casein A1 has histidine and casein A2 has proline.) In biochemistry, one amino acid difference can completely change how the molecule behaves, including how it’s digested and metabolized.

“I think your problem may be milk sensitivity,” I told Nick.

He had a hard time accepting the theory, as he ate larger quantities of dairy products, especially cheese, when he was in France than when he was at home. Yet he reluctantly agreed to try a dairy-elimination diet for six weeks. As far as he was concerned, the biggest argument for trying the diet was the lack of other alternatives.

Six weeks later, Nick was jubilant about the barely visible traces of eczema—but he was missing dairy. “Does this mean I can only eat cheese in France?” he asked.

Nick could travel to France or Australia (the current center of the A2 milk movement) for all his vacations but there are increasing options available for people in the States. Milk from Guernsey and Jersey cows, as well as camels, yaks, sheep and goats, contains mostly A2 casein. Some small farmers are now selling milk from A2-producing breeds of cows.

For more information about different casein proteins, go to

Note: Those with lactose intolerance will not benefit from changing casein sources. People with dairy-induced anaphylaxis should not ingest dairy products under any circumstances.
Licensed nutritionist dietitian Kelly Dorfman, author of What’s Eating Your Child?, has 29 years of clinical experience developing nutrition and lifestyle strategies to address complex health problems.

New Standard For Gluten-Free Labeling (Living Without)

Andrea Levario |


Long Awaited Regulation Will Make it Easier for Americans to Follow a Gluten-Free Diet

ALEXANDRIA, VA – August 2, 2013 – The American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA), the nation’s leading celiac disease advocacy organization, today applauded the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) for establishing a federal standard for gluten-free labeling. The long-awaited regulation will help to ensure that individuals with celiac disease have the basic information necessary to manage their health and is the result of a decade-long effort lead by the ACDA, which represent patients and those serving the celiac community.

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act passed in 2004 required the Secretary of Health and Human Services to set labeling standards to aid the estimated 3 million Americans with celiac disease. Today, the only treatment for the genetic, autoimmune condition is to follow a strict gluten-free diet.

The new rule will require products bearing a gluten-free label to contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) or 20mg/kg of gluten, a level research has found to be safe. Gluten is the common name for the protein found in all forms of wheat as well as rye, barley and triticale, and is harmful to persons with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten-sensitivity. A similar international standard was adopted as part of the Codex Alimentarius in 2008, and implemented in the European Union last year.

“A decade ago, our research determined that the prevalence of celiac disease in U.S. was 1 in 133. Even then it was obvious that patients could not safely manage their diet without better labeling requirements,” noted Dr. Alessio Fasano, Director of the Center for Celiac Research at MassGeneral Hospital. “The FDA has devoted years of work to make sure the standard issued today was safe for celiac patients. Our research supports that standard,” he added,

“We have worked closely with the FDA, providing input and offering the expertise of our members to make sure the rule met the needs of patients and minimized the impact on the ability of food manufacturers to deliver products to market,” said ACDA President Beth Hillson. “Now, we must turn our focus to partnering with FDA to educate patients, health professionals and industry about the standard and how it will benefit the entire community.”

Effective August 2, 2014, companies opting to label their products as gluten-free, will be required to comply with the less 20ppm standard. Once in place, celiac and gluten-sensitive consumers will be able to choose products with confidence.

“Creating a uniform definition for what gluten free means across all products will enable them to safely and easily navigate through the ever-expanding gluten free product aisles,” said TJ McIntyre, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Boulder Brands. The standard will also dramatically reduce the amount of time celiac and gluten-sensitive consumers spend contacting companies to obtain the information necessary to determine if a product is safe.

Scott Mandell, CEO of Enjoy Life Foods emphasized, “Our company is excited to know there is a clear standard and guidelines for making a gluten-free claim.”  The company has been a pioneer in tracing the sources of ingredients used in its products, which are free from the top eight allergens as well. “Without a doubt, this standard will ease anxiety and confusion for those who must adhere to the gluten-free diet for medical reasons.

The year FALCPA was signed into law, sales of gluten-free products were $560 million, and rose to $4.2 billion last year.  By 2017, the sales of gluten-free foods and beverages are expected to exceed $6.6 billion. The skyrocketing growth in the market increased the need for FDA’s action to set a national gluten-free standard.

About American Celiac Disease Alliance

The non-profit American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA) was established in 2003 as the national advocacy organization for celiac disease in the United States. Unifying patient support groups, researchers, food manufacturers and others serving the community, the ACDA advances policy initiatives to improve the lives of those with celiac disease. The organization spearheaded the grassroots campaign that resulted in the passage of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act.

Red Apple Lipstick – review of a product well overdue

I have to appologize to Jay Harper first hand of Red Apple Lipstick who sent me his products to test over a year ago. Due to family issues and an overwhelming work schedule, I reviewed his product and continue to use it but forgot to upload it. This is a gross error on my part and one I would like to remedy immediately.

First, over a year ago, in 2012, I contacted Red Apple Lipstick for a sample of their products and they promptly replied and sent me samples of Plum Sexy Crazy, Berry Blast, Rebel, and Red. I also received a sample of lip glosses including Metropolis and other shades that I passed on to my friend who also reviews Eco-friendly vegan products.

Now, sadly, I will compare their products to MAC. Not sad for Red Apple however, but sad for MAC! (I must explain that before MAC betrayed the public by testing on animals, I was sold on their products.)

Red Apple Lipstick’s shade of RED is as striking and not too orange, not too pink as MAC’s Russian Red ever was. The best part of Red Apple’s product as compared to MAC (besides not being testing on our favorite little animals) is the ability to layer the effect. When I received their product, I promptly brought it to Tres Belle in Brooklyn and shared it with my friend Allison and her staff. We all agreed that Red Apple allows you to layer their lipstick and create a subtle to intense red depending on your mood or the time of day. In addition, each shade we sampled adapted to our skin tones (I have an very light olive complexion, my friend very pale pink/blue, and her employee very dark olive). Each shade came out a distinct color that complemented our skin tone. In addition, the colors felt light but not sticky like a gloss but looked like a heavily applied lipstick.

Each color worked either for work (lighter during the day) or applied in layers (night) when I love to wear heavy, dark, dramatic colors.

Now for the “perfect red lipstick.” Every woman is hunting for the perfect red lipstick and can pay over $20 for it. Red Apple sells the best red lipstick I have found (aside from MAC that tests of animals now) that adapts to the underlying color of your skin and creates the perfect shade of red for not only your lips but your underlying skin tone as well.

Not sure you want to commit? Check out their sampler pack HERE!

Want to know what is in their makeup? Look HERE. I know plenty of people who read this blog are allergic to ingredients other than gluten and dairy.

Their website clearly explains why gluten exposure on a dermal level is important. This level of caution is not for everyone, but I see noticeable differences in my skin and hair when using gluten-free products.

“We all know about the gluten free diet.  Those who live with Celiac have become serious Gluten Finder-Outers, scanning long lists of ingredients, calling companies and standing firm on the need to live completely and utterly without gluten in their diet.

But what about gluten from other sources?  Have you ever thought about getting it from your makeup?

It’s true:  Gluten in cosmetics is extremely common.  Wheat acts as a source of vitamin E, a stickiness/holding agent, while Oats are used for skin refinement and nourishment.  It can hide in dozens of complicatedly named ingredients, can contaminate even “naturally” gluten free products and is accepted as a normal ingredient for every type of cosmetic, skincare, hair care and everything else.  It is everywhere you look, if you take the time.

Now, gluten molecules cannot penetrate the skin as far as we scientifically know, but some products such as lipstick are actually on, in or around our mouths at all times.  At some point or another, it’s going into our bodies.

Not only that, but many Celiacs- diagnosed as having the autoimmune disease and notallergic -have inexplicable trouble with gluten when it comes in contact with their skin, causing what would be medically classified as “allergy” symptoms.  Such as terrible rashes, eczema, dry and itching eyes, swelling, bleeding sores and more.  As always with Celiac, the exact symptoms vary from person to person.

We do not know why Celiacs have issues with topical gluten.  In fact, some doctors flat out deny the possibility.  Others, such as Dr. Rodney Ford, simply follow the evidence they see in their practices- which is that some Celiacs do have reactions.  Perhaps someday studies will be done that can explain it for us and solve the puzzle.  But for now, a quick look into the Celiac community is proof enough.  Hundreds of Celiacs have removed gluten from their skincare, hair care and cosmetics and found their acne melted away after a few days, their watery eyes cleared up, or their inexplicable and seemingly random headaches vanished.

But even if a Celiac does not have reactions to topical gluten, allowing it to stay in cosmetics is asking for trouble.  Every time you apply foundation, don’t let it touch your mouth!  When you scrunch styling gel into your hair, wash those hands and wash ‘em GOOD before you eat those hot wings.  And lipstick?  Pfft, forget it!  It’s over and done with pretty much the instant you put it on.

If gluten is in your lipstick, it’s game over- you’ve been glutened.

Sadly, very few companies truly realize the importance of gluten free makeup.  They understand that it’s a market and they want to cash in on those desperate to find safe cosmetics.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting to turn a profit!!  But so many companies are quick to claim the “gluten free” label without really understanding what that means.  For Celiacs, this is not an issue to be trifled with, especially in the case of products that will certainly be ingested (such as lipstick).  This is real and this is dangerous.

If you are Celiac, gluten free cosmetics are a must, especially in the case of lipstick and similar products.  Lucky for us that Red Apple Lipstick is TESTED gluten free, huh?” –

Whether you decide to convert to a lifestyle that includes gluten-free makeup, Red Apple Lipstick can be included in a cruelty-free, gluten-free, hand selected, safe ingredients, paraben free, non-toxic, no petroleum, no animal bits, no gluten, no soy, no dairy, no corn, no harsh chemicals no GMO’s, small batches with stringent storage and handling procedures, and everything you imagine your makeup to be handled by, please select Red Apple as your makeup product (at least for that perfect red lipstick you have been dying for).

Toxic Graph - from Red Apple Lipstick

Toxic Graph – from Red Apple Lipstick

In addition to all these amazing benefits I have listed, there are more! Yes, more!


Trusted Safety

Red Apple is a gluten free makeup company! We started life catering to those who care about the quality of cosmetic ingredients, and how they relate to your health. All products are lab tested, batch tested, and stored like gold in Fort Knox!


Awesome Sheens & Finishes

All Red Apple Lipsticks, Glosses and Shadows are made to truly shine! Each one has its own unique sheen and finish, one so awesome, people stop and ask, “What Is It?!”


Moisturizes While You Wear It

All Red Apple Lipsticks, Glosses and Balm are loaded with an all natural, but gluten free source of Vitamin E. This lipstick literally moisturizes while you wear it!


Can Be Worn Sheer or Full Bodied

Red Apple Lipsticks start with a natural mineral base. This unique property allows the lipstick or gloss to be applied sheer with light application. Add a layer or two more, and the color will blossom to exactly the color YOU want.


100% Money Back Guarantee

We understand that shopping online for makeup can be tough. We also know that “pressure” is no fun!! To help things convenient for you, every product is covered by a 100% money back guarantee!


Blend Lipsticks To Make Custom Colors

All Red Apple Lipsticks and Glosses are designed to be combined. Blend two lipsticks to create a new color, or blend with a gloss. Imagine always having the perfect color with only a handful of products!


Tastes And Smells Nice

Red Apple Lipsticks are designed to be a pleasant experience. No yucky chemical smells, no unnatural parfumes, no chemicals, but instead, a light pleasant smell and taste.


Great Looks, Get Compliments

Your everyday beauty enhanced! We truly desire that you feel great, feel confident, and feel beautiful every day of your life, naturally!


Stops “Celiac Chapped” Lips

The effects of gluten on your body are widespread, but we know one negative effect of gluten is dry, flaky, painful lips. All Red Apple Lip Products are designed specifically to end “Celiac Chap” once and for all!


Great Offers & Great Customer Service

We know that you love great offers, great deals, great combos of makeup , and to be treated like the wonderful girl that you are. That’s exactly how we are going to treat you. Become a member of our VIP club for even more special offers.

To Utica and Back – a tale of food and adventure

I recently took a trip for work up to Utica, NY fearing I would starve but I found a plethora (that’s right, I used the work plethora) of eating establishments that catered to gluten-free people. I confess, I did some planning ahead of time using Find Me Gluten Free app which I have realized is my favorite gluten-free travel app so far.

Day 1:

I came in super-late at night (at least for Utica which is 11 pm) and everything seemed to be closed but lucky enough Babe’s located at 80 N Genesee St, Utica, NY 13502 (315) 735-0777 was still serving food until midnight and saved me. The staff was friendly enough and while the customers were super rowdy, I was thankful for the table away from the bar. I had the buffalo chicken salad which was nothing fancy but the chicken was tasty, the buffalo sauce was yummy, and I was grateful to be able to eat something. They have  gluten-free menu so just ask, the staff is super friendly and well informed about gluten allergies.

Day 2:

Exploring Utica and COFFEE! I made today my mission to check out the coffee shops around Utica being that I needed WiFi juice and mental juice to finish my presentation for my conference. My first stop was Cafe Domenico located at 2011 Genesee St Utica, NY 13501 (315) 798-8077 which had a yummy cup of coffee but no air conditioning or Wi-Fi. Still I was happy to work for hours in this cute little coffee shop that seemed like a throw back to the 1950s or a place I missed and loved from Brooklyn, VOXPOP. There was a small selection of gluten free snacks to be had. The owner, an older gentlemen, apologized explaining there was usually a better selection. While I was working, his daughter came to take over for him. She brought a rock-a-billy air with her and the younger customers started to appear. Talk of roller derby and music began and I mini fell in love with this coffee shop and wish I could have brought to back with me to NYC. I highly recommend this place if you are looking for an alternative to the Starbucks drivel and want a unique coffee shop.

Next, to switch it up, I visited Utica Roasting Company located at 92 Genesee St, Utica, NY 13502 (516) 236-5954 to check out their coffee and goodies. The place is small and quaint and smells amazing because they roast their own beans in house. There are few places to sit and I think I was lucky because it was the end of the day (they close early at 4pm). The woman at the counter was super friendly and let me know there were no gluten-free goodies available but the coffee more than made up for it. At closing, she even gave me a cup to go FREE. They also sell a pretty solid selection of tee shirts, hoodies, and tank tops, which I love collecting.

My final foodie stop was Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse located at 151 N Genesee St, Utica, NY 13502 (315) 732-2300 which happened to be right next to my hotel. Again, I am lucky to find a gluten-free menu and a knowledgeable staff. There GF menu is not limited to non-carbohydrate based foods either, they serve pasta and traditional Italian food gluten free as well. Check out their menu here. I had their Delmonico Steak and it was amazing! I didn’t try any pastas this time, maybe next; I stuck to traditional steakhouse fair. I highly recommend this restaurant as well, the steaks are out of this world.

So far, day 2, no stomach aches = no contamination!

Day 3:

I spent the morning working and had no need to find food but before I had to present, I needed something. My go to food in NY is always pizza without cheese so I found a gluten free pizza place, O’Scugnizzo Pizzeria, located at 614 Bleecker St, Utica, NY 13501 (315) 732-6149 just minutes from my hotel. I ordered a GF pie with no cheese and within minutes I hear to kitchen mess up my order. They put cheese on it! Without hesitation, the threw away the pizza and started a new one. No scraping off the cheese, no trying to redeem the expensive crust. Well done gentlemen! The pizza was pretty good (I’m sure cheese would have made it amazing) but the service and the attention to detail made this an excellent stop in Utica. I highly suggest these guys!

Due to a plague of pneumonia at my house, I had to cut my trip short and miss Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner but I was told by many people, this is a must stop for diner food, some of my favorite! They even have a gluten free menu too which has panclocks (pancakes for those who have not been reading my blog).

Overall, I was impressed with the food and accommodations in Utica, NY. Well done!

The Top 10 Gluten Free Accommodating College Campuses

The Top 10 Gluten Free Accommodating College Campuses.

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